A nail biting and neck to neck encounter saw Kandy Sports Club edging out the Havelocks Sports Club at the Nittawela Stadium today. Kandy are yet to be beaten at home, Havelocks in the other hand suffered their first defeat of the season today.

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Kandy scored 39 points through 6 tries of which 3 were converted together with a penalty. Havelocks scored 30 points through 3 tries, conversions and penalties. At the breather it was 22 -13 in favor of the home team Kandy. Havelocks however remain the table toppers at the end of the first round of the season with only this defeat to their name.

Dulaj Perera received the first opportunity to just 5 minutes from referee Priyantha Gunarathna’s whistle. He buffed a penalty 45m away from goal but seconds later rectified it when he received his second chance from the exact position he failed the last time. The penalty was given for the Kandy line being offside. (00 Kandy-03 Havies)

Kandy soon replied through Gayan Weerarathna when he scored in the left corner of the field. Arshad Jamaldeen chipped the ball over the Havies backline which bounced into the hands of Gayan Weeratne who had placed himself precisely. Thilina Wijesinghe failed to score from the left corner of the field. (05 Kandy-03 Havies)

Dulaj Perera then bisected the posts when he sent in a 48m penalty, as the referee called the Kandy players for killing the ball. (05 Kandy-06 Havies) Then it was Thilina Wijesinghe’s turn to kick at goal when he received a 23m angle kick penalized for the opposition having hands in the ruck. He put it through with ease. (08 Kandy-06 Havies)

Wishvamithra Jayasinghe, hand to evade just the single defender, before scoring in the left corner off a Roshan Weeratne pass to add-on for Kandy. Wijesinghe added the extras. (15 Kandy-06 Havies)

Havelocks SC scored almost immediately, after Nishon Perera collected the ball that bounced off a Kandy player’s hands running a good 50m meters before diving under the posts. Dulaj Perera converted with ease. (15 Kandy-13 Havies)

Sharo Fernando was sent the naughty boy’s chair after he threw his hands at a Kandy player in the ruck which was spotted by the touch judge. This was at the brink of half- time and Roshan then took a quick tap and passed it on to Damith Dissanayake who dived with Dimitri helping him get over the line. Wijesinghe converted. (22 Kandy-13 Havies)

Roshan Weeratne was excellent with distributing the ball from the rucks to his back line after the forwards set it up for them. He also collected a lot of the high balls from both Kevin Dixon and Dulaj Perera.

Half Time – Kandy SC 22 (3T 2C 1P) – 13 (1T 1C 2P) Havelock SC

Kandy came into the second-half with a man-advantage as Fernando was still sitting it out. Just as the first half, Dulaj Perara was the first to score through a penalty 25m out and at angle when the referee found the Kandy line offside. (22 Kandy-16 Havies)

Havies opted to kick the ball much of the game. The next score came when Niroshan Fernando opted to kick the ball high andKandy taking advantage of this ran the ball into Havelock’s territory. The Havies defended well for a good 3 minutes but the referee played advantage finally resulting a penalty which Kandy opted to kick out and set a line-out. After a successful line-out, the home side set up a rolling maul to touch down through Damith Dissanayake. Wijesinghe missed at the uprights. (27 Kandy-16 Havies)

Liston Flatny went on to score under the posts after the forwards set up a few phases receiving the ball from the line out. Sudarshana Muthuthanthri did most of the hard work in setting up the try for the Havies. Dulaj Perera added an extra two points from the conversion closing the gap for the Colombo club. (27 Kandy-23 Havies)

Kandy then aided by some advantage play and penalties due to mistakes by the Havelock forwards pushed Lasitha Aththanagoda over the line with the strength of the forward propelling him. Wijesinghe missed the conversion. (32 Kandy-23 Havies) 

Kandy dashed the Havelocks hope of any sort of comeback with the last try of the game. The visitors were pressuring the Kandy defense meters away from scoring when Danush Dayan ripped the ball from a Havelock’s player and ran 70m before he was tracked down by Kevin Dixon. Dayan off-loaded to Gayan Weeratne who was the first to arrive in support. The veteran who had been showing his superior skills on the field through the game, put boot to the ball for Richard Dharmapala to collect on the try line and dive in. Roshan Weeratne then converted a simple chance. (39 Kandy-23 Havies)

Nishon Perera who was all over the game as intercepted a pass and ran 50m scoring under the posts. Kandy was on the attack when Nishon snatched the pass intended for Dayan. Perera then took the conversion quickly but couldn’t beat the final whistle.

Roshan Weerathna played a major role in the second half as well when he took advantage with quick taps and gaining the penalty advantages when the Havelock’s players weren’t 10m away. The first leg of the season ended today with the conclusion of the 7th week.

Full Time – Kandy SC 39 (6T 3C 1P) – 30 (3T 3C 3P) Havelock SC

ThePapare.com’s Player of the Match: Roshan Weeratne (Kandy SC)

Score breakdown 

Kandy SC

Damith Dissanayake (2T), Wiswamithra Jayasinghe (1T), Gayan Weerarathne (1T), Richard Dharmapala (1T), Lasitha Aththanagoda (1T), Thilina wijesinghe (2C 1P), Roshan Weerarathne (1C)

Havelocks

Nishon Perera (2T), Liston Flatny (1T), Dulaj Perera (3C 3P)